Inside the Flood: A Volunteer's Story


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - There are so many stories that are coming out of the flooding situation we have been in for the past ten days. There are stories of bravery and stories of tireless recovery efforts by both residents and volunteers.

NEWSChannel 2 caught up with one of those volunteers to learn what drives their desire to help.

Bonnie Krukowski has been volunteering with the American Red Cross for about a year now. She wanted to help out because years ago she lost everything in a house fire. "I knew exactly what it was like to be standing in rubble and not knowing what you were going to do for sleeping that night," said Krukowski.

During one of her first experiences as a volunteer, Bonnie she knew she was where she belonged. "I had a little 8-year-old girl come up to me and she took my arm. Their house had been destroyed and she says ma'am you won't leave me alone will you? I wrapped her up in a blanket and I held on to that girl all night long and I said this is it I was meant to be."

Bonnie says working here in the flooded regions of Central New York, she's experienced a great group of volunteers working together to help their neighbors out. "There are bonds that are never going to be broken," said Krukowski. "You don't want to say, I want to see you at another DR (disaster relief). But you do want to say, I want to see you again."

Bonnie and several other volunteers worked through the Fourth of July holiday, but for them it was just another day. "When you think life is really horrible or you think life really stinks, sit down for five minutes and be thankful for your friends, your family and your bed and the hotdog and hamburg you're eating on July 4th. Think about the people that are sitting on cots, living on cots. All of the sudden July 4th is nothing. We're America. We're here to make it better for these people."

Bonnie says the most rewarding thing for her as a volunteer is a simple 'thank you.'

"Walking down the street and have someone coming up to you and say thank you for what you are doing for can't beat that."

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